Welcome BOS members and all interested in birding Western New York and Niagara Peninsula of Ontario!

featured bird photo
Lapland Longspur © Sue Barth

Scoping March

They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but around here, March exits with a roar as well! Hang in there, the Hamburg Hawkwatch is open for business officially on the 15th. Please stop by and say hello to the volunteer posted at the site for the day. This hawkwatch is covered by volunteers daily from March 15 thru May 15. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Jim Landau (Landaujr@gmail.com). In addition to migrant raptors, the first blackbird and robin flocks are on the move this month.

Waterfowl migration also begins in ernest during March. If you're looking for Snow Geese, head to the eastern side of Niagara County, as well as Orleans and Genesee Counties. This species is far less frequently encountered in Erie County. The ponds and marshes at Iroquois NWR and the Tonawanda WMA are thawing and attracting scores of dapper ducks. Just what the doctor ordered...Pintail, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and other puddle ducks are looking smitten in their high breeding plumage.

Red-throated Loons and Red-necked Grebes are also on the move in March and if looking for these birds, check the Lake Ontario overlooks at Ft Niagara SP, Golden Hill SP, Wilson-Tuscarora SP and Wilson Harbor. These birds can also be found in the upper Niagara and at Erie Basin Marina (if ice free). Do yourself a favor and spend some time watching Red-breasted Merganser drakes displaying to the ladies in the aforementioned waterways.

This is a great time of year to put in some time looking for Saw-whets. Spruce and pine groves along the Lake Ontario plain are great places to peek into after a night of light southerly winds. As always with any owls, if you do find one of these magical tiny birds, please keep a respectable distance.

At the end of the month, herons and egrets are returning to their rookeries. Bring your spotting scope to the foot of Sheridan Drive and scan Motor Island from the boat launch to see these newly arrived migrants displaying on their nests.

The Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) has something to offer to anyone passionate about birds: from the backyard feeder- watcher, the avid lister or the environmental activist, to the dedicated citizen scientist or the professional ornithologist. Society activities include regular programs, field trips, intensive long-term bird counts, checklist and date guide development, varied research activities, and involvement in local conservation efforts. We invite you to join in the activities of the society!

 BOS Membership  

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region. Annual grants are awarded by the BOS to fund member-sponsored avian research projects. We are proud of our extensive scientific research databases, our continuing involvement in environmental and conservation activities that impact birds, and our promotion of the enjoyment of ornithology.

The BOS coverage area includes Western New York and parts of nearby Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded. Explore our site to learn more about where to report and find birds, both regional specialties and rare visitors.

  Mark Your Calendar Now!

2017 NYS Birders Conference / NYSOA Annual Meeting
November 10-12, 2017

The Buffalo Ornithological Society is hard at work planning the 2017 NYS Birders Conference and NYSOA Annual Meeting. The conference will be held at the new Hilton Hotel right at the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park, November 10-12, 2017 (Veteran's Day weekend).

Why so late in the year? Because the birding is fabulous then! Waterfowl! Gulls! With possibilities for phalaropes, jaegers, and rare or lingering songbirds! You just never know!

Mark your calendar now and check back here for details in the months ahead.

More About the Conference 

  July 2017 Adirondack Travel Trip

UPDATE -Trip is now full - wait list has been started.
Most of the details are in! I am excited to be offering a BOS Travel Trip this July to Adirondack State Park! We are hiring an ADK native, Joan Collins, to lead us on two of our three days in the park. Joan has an incredible ear and local knowledge of the birdlife. Target species include Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher and the rare and local, Bicknell's Thrush. This trip is limited to 20 participants. Please refer to the Calendar for details.

  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

Several field trips, meetings, and events have recently been added to our calendar. Take a look and be sure to join us at a meeting or on one of our field trips!

Mar 26, 2017

CANCELLED Field Trip - Owl Woods and Braddock Bay

Details: (click for more info)


Leader - Jim Adams and Melissa Mance

We are very fortunate this year to have a member of Braddock Bay Raptor Research as our guide through Owl Woods. Our main focus here will be the unequivocally endearing Saw-whet Owl. This migratory species is difficult to detect while roosting but with Jim's assistance we hope to see one. Long-eared Owl is also a possibility. We will spend about an hour and a half walking the spruce grove in search of these owls. If the weather permits, we may be able to get a tour of an operating hawk banding station to boot! After Owl Woods, we will reconvene at Braddock Bay SP to view waterfowl in the bay and whatever else might be around. At this point, Melissa Mance will take over as leader. This 1/2 day trip will have a 20-person limit. Please email Alec Humann (alechumann@msn.com) to reserve your spot! BOS members will have priority.

Apr 09, 2017

April Bird Count

Details: (click for more info)

Sunday, April 9th.

All BOS members should participate in the 81st Annual April Bird Count.

For more information or to volunteer your help, visit our April Count webpage:

April Count Info  

Apr 12, 2017

Meeting - East Tennessee Land Conservancy Property Efforts

Details: (click for more info)

Wednesday, April 12th at 7PM: BOS Meeting in the Cummings Room of the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Wayne Schacher will present on the focus on 10 years of work conducted/directed on a 400 acre land conservancy property in East Tennessee. Efforts were to transform it from a hay production and pasture farm with poor habitat diversity and quality to an emphasis on the native grassland community, with other habitat diversity initiatives including riparian zone expansion, construction of a wetland, fence line expansion, etc, all within a wonderful landscape setting.

Another emphasis was to monitor and inventory native species response to the habitat improvements, while marshaling broad volunteer participation and assistance from Knoxville Chapter of Tennessee Ornithological Society, area universities, and other sources.

Apr 15, 2017

Field Trip - Hawk ID Workshop

Details: (click for more info)

Leader: Rick Bacher
This is a field workshop focused on raptor identification.
Join Rick Bacher at the William D. Williams ballpark on Camp Road for a lesson in diurnal raptor identification. This time of year is the best for diversity and we hope to be entertained by numbers of Broad-winged Hawks. This field trip is dependent upon weather and will have April 16 as a rain/snow date. Last year during this trip, a Short-eared Owl delighted observers as it migrated overhead! This is also a good time of year for Sandhill Crane. Bring a chair, sunscreen and a lunch and enjoy the show! NOTE - This is an alternate location for the official Hamburg Hawkwatch site with ample parking!

Apr 23, 2017

Field Trip - BOS/RBA Joint Braddock Bay Hawk Watch

Details: (click for more info)

This is our annual hawk weekend joint trip with the Rochester Birding Association (RBA).

Meet at 7:00 AM at Tops Market in Wright's Corners. This is on the east side of Route 78 at Route 104, north of Lockport.

We will stop at birding hotspots along the way.

If you plan to drive on your own we will meet the RBA group at 9:30 AM in the Braddock Bay Parking lot. (Take Route 18 to the Lake Ontario State Parkway. Exit at East Manitou Road/Braddock Bay.)


BOS: David Gordon (716-390-1429 or dgordonphoto@gmail.com)

RBA: Mike Tetlow (585-748-5838 or metetlow@gmail.com)

David and Mike will lead us to Monroe County Birding hotspots.

Apr 29, 2017

Field Trip - Dunkirk Harbor and Point Gratiot

Details: (click for more info)

Leader: Gale VerHague

Meet at 8am at the city pier at Dunkirk Harbor.

Join Gale for an insider's tour of her local patch. Long time hotspots, Dunkirk Harbor and Point Gratiot have a healthy list of rarities discovered between the two of them.

We are hoping to enjoy a multitude of migrant water birds in Dunkirk Harbor this time of year. Recently returned Caspian Terns and Purple Martins will be a welcome sight. Point Gratiot should give us a taste of things to come with recently arrived Neotropical migrants. Red-headed Wooodpeckers nest here and we hope to enjoy their distinctive calls as the pairs settle in to nest in the oaks and cottonwoods.

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